Kate MacDowell sculptures

Título: Kate MacDowell sculptures


We do not want merely to see beauty…..We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. – C.S. Lewis.

In Kate MacDowell’s work a Romantic ideal of our relationship to the natural world conflicts with the reality of our current impact on the environment. Her pieces are in part responses to environmental threats including air pollution, global warming, clear-cutting, and pesticide misuse; and their consequences to our health and the environment including rapidly diminishing plant and animal species. They also borrow from myth, art history, figures of speech and other cultural touchstones. In some pieces aspects of the human figure stand-in for us and act out sometimes harrowing, sometimes humorous transformations which illustrate our current relationship with the natural world. In others, animals take on anthropomorphic qualities when they are given safety equipment to attempt to protect them from man-made environmental threats. In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.

She uses a variety of methods from hand sculpting each piece out of porcelain, often building a solid form and then hollowing it out, to slip casting and assembling multiples. Smaller forms are built petal by petal, branch by branch and allow her the chance to get immersed in close study of the structure of a blossom or a bee. She sees each piece as a captured and preserved specimen, a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability.

Autor: Kate MacDowell, independent artist based in the United States (not affiliated with an institution)

Fotografia: Dan Kvitka

Contato: kate_macdowell@hotmail.com

Link: www.katemacdowell.com

Clay pigeons, 2010


Mutiny on the bounty, 2013